United Way of Coastal Georgia conducts a fundraising campaign each year to help fund education-, health- and social services-related agencies. This year’s campaign captain Cedric King, human resources director of Pinova, posed a question to residents and business leaders when the campaign began in September: “What do you aspire for the Golden Isles?” United Way wanted to raise $1.2 million, the same amount as the previous year. Between this past Sept. 25 and Jan. 31, the campaign chugged along, struggling to reach its goal, and in the face of an anticipated 7 percent shortfall, organizers decided to extend the campaign by one week, hoping to reach the goal. With the help of an anonymous donor who agreed to match $2 for every $1 contributed during the extended period, United Way reached its goal of $1.2 million.
What’s new: United Way has to make decisions on distributing the funds to organizations. Every Tuesday and Thursday in March, beginning this week, the United Way board and staff is listening to presentations from applying agencies. Not every agency that makes a presentation is guaranteed full funding or any at all, said Dana Haza, United Way president and chief executive. Twenty-five applicants, some applying for multiple programs, are being considered. Haza says the review groups will make decisions at the end of the month and send recommendations to the full board for action in April. Board member Jennifer Besing, a member of the panel screening applicants, says there are several things the organization looks for, including who an agency or program serves, what impact it has, if it is financially stable and how it measures and tracks success. This past year, the campaign funded 24 agencies and 33 programs. – Sarah Lundgren, The Brunswick News